2011 NBA Playoff Predictions: Complete Results Including the 2011 Champion

The most anticipated NBA Playoff season in recent memory begins today and there are more than enough story lines to keep one busy. Most importantly, however, is what happens on the court. Here now are my predictions, March Madness style, of how the Playoffs will unfold:

Eastern Conference Round 1
Indiana Pacers (8) vs. Chicago Bulls (1):
The Bulls have ended the season red-hot and should have no trouble dismantling the Indiana Pacers in the first round.

Derrick Rose is clearly the league MVP and first year Coach Tom Thibodeau has the Bulls playing some of the league’s toughest defense.

The Pacers, to their credit, have a decent team with some familiar names on it.  Players like Darren Collison, Mike Dunleavy, Tyler Hansbrough, Josh McRoberts and Roy Hibbert are no stranger to tournament play as each had great success at the collegiate level. Unfortunately for them, school is over and their 2011 season will soon follow.

Pick:  Bulls in 4 games

Atlanta Hawks (5) vs. Orlando Magic (4):
The Hawks have their work cut out for them as they try to erase the embarrassing performance they showed in last year’s playoff series against the Magic.

This year’s team looks to be a slight upgrade over the 2010 version as Kirk Hinrich has proved to be a much better player than Mike Bibby.

However, Orlando should be close to full strength and Dwight Howard is coming off his best season as a pro. Combine that with the Hawks dismal post All-Star break play and Orlando should cruise back into round two.

Pick:  Magic in 5 games

New York Knicks (6) vs. Boston Celtics (3):
This should be one of the more interesting first round match ups as the Celtics are reaching their twilight with their current nucleus, while New York is just getting used to theirs.


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